NorthEast United: The Highlanders

Founded: 13th April 2014

Owners: John Abraham, George John, Jaya Balan

Stadium: Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium, Guwahati

Titles: 0


NorthEast United are the only club that hails from the north-eastern part of India and have been competing in the Indian Super League from the very first edition. Rather than representing a particular city, the Highlanders have been carrying the symbol of the eight states: Assam, Mizoram, Manipur, Meghalaya, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim and Tripura.

Backed by actor John Abraham, North East United have tried to create an uproar in the league by unleashing young energetic talents on the ISL pitch. They have developed a number of players with the likes of Apuia, Redeem Tlang and more, who have gone on to represent the national team.

The club has tried to build a football culture across the states with its footballing activities and even the club logo has eight stars symbolizing the eight north east states. However, their performance in the ISL hasn’t been up to the mark as they have struggled to get into the playoffs most of the time.

NorthEast United FC: Results in Indian Super League


NorthEast United managed just two playoffs appearances so far in their Indian Super League journey. They had first reached the playoffs in the 2018-19 ISL season under the guidance of Eelco Schatorrie but couldn’t get past the semifinals. Khalid Jamil became the first Indian coach to lead a team into the playoffs in the 2020-21 ISL season.

NorthEast United FC: Top Scorers in ISL

2014-15Nicolas Velez145
2015-16Emiliano Alfaro135
2018-19Bartholomew Ogbeche1712
2019-20Asamoah Gyan84
2020-21Luis Machado227

Bartholomew Ogbeche got his scoring boots running in the 2018-19 season when he fired NorthEast United into the playoffs with 12 goals to his name. He was the only goalscorer for the Highlanders to reach double digits with his goal tally. 

NEUFC had also roped in famous Ghanaian footballer Asamoah Gyan in hope of a similar feat in the ISL 2019-20 season, but the marquee striker couldn’t do well as he found the net just 4 times in 8 appearances. Interestingly, his four-goal tally was the highest for the Highlanders that season. 

NorthEast United FC: ISL 2021-22 Fixtures

DateDayFixtureVenueTime (IST)
November 20, 2021SaturdayBengaluru FC vs NEUFCAthletic Stadium, Bambolim7:30 PM IST
November 25, 2021ThursdayNEUFC vs Kerala BlastersPJN Stadium, Fatorda7:30 PM IST
November 29, 2021MondayNEUFC vs Chennaiyin FCPJN Stadium, Fatorda7:30 PM IST
December 4, 2021SaturdayNEUFC vs FC GoaPJN Stadium, Fatorda7:30 PM IST
December 10, 2021 FridayOdisha FC vs NEUFCTilak Maidan Stadium7:30 PM IST
December 13, 2021MondayHyderabad FC vs NEUFCAthletic Stadium, Bambolim7:30 PM IST
December 17, 2021FridayNEUFC vs SC East BengalPJN Stadium, Fatorda7:30 PM IST
December 21, 2021TuesdayNEUFC vs ATK Mohun Bagan PJN Stadium, Fatorda7:30 PM IST
December 27, 2021MondayNEUFC vs Mumbai City FCPJN Stadium, Fatorda7:30 PM IST
January 6, 2022ThursdayJamshedpur FC vs NEUFCAthletic Stadium, Bambolim7:30 PM IST
January 14, 2022FridayFC Goa vs NEUFCBambolim Athletic Stadium7:30 PM IST
January 18, 2022TuesdayNEUFC vs Odisha FCJawaharlal Nehru Stadium7:30 PM IST
January 22, 2022SaturdayChennaiyin FC vs NEUFC Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium7:30 PM IST
January 25, 2022TuesdayMumbai City vs NEUFCJawaharlal Nehru Stadium7:30 PM IST
January 31, 2022MondayNEUFC vs Hyderabad FCJawaharlal Nehru Stadium7:30 PM IST
February 4, 2022FridayKerala Blasters vs NEUFCTilak Maidan Stadium7:30 PM IST
February 9, 2022WednesdayNEUFC vs Bengaluru FCJawaharlal Nehru Stadium7:30 PM IST
February 18, 2022FridaySC East Bengal vs NEUFCTilak Maidan Stadium7:30 PM IST
February 27, 2022SundayNEUFC vs Jamshedpur FCJawaharlal Nehru Stadium7:30 PM IST
March 4, 2022FridayATK Mohun Bagan vs NEUFCJawaharlal Nehru Stadium7:30 PM IST

NorthEast United FC: Squad for ISL 2021-22

Goalkeepers: Mirshad Michu, Sanjiban Ghosh, Subhasish Roy Chowdhury, Nikhil Deka

Defenders: Gurjinder Kumar, Jestin George, Mashoor Shereef, Mohamed Irshad, Nabin Rabha, Tondonba Singh, Patrick Flottmann, Provat Lakra, Zakaria Diallo

Midfielders: Hernan Santana, Imran Khan, Gani Nigam, Joe Zoherliana, Marco Sahanek, Pragyan Medhi, Pragyan Gogoi, Sehnaj Singh

Forwards: Deshorn Brown, Laldanmawia Ralte, Lalkhawpuimawia, Manvir Singh, Marcelo Pereira, Rochharzela, Suhair Vadakkepeedika, William Lalnunfela.

NorthEast United welcomed a number of fresh foreign recruits with the likes of former Mumbai City midfielder Hernan Santana and Zakaria Diallo ahead of the ISL 2021-22 season. They also signed ISL veteran Marcelinho and Marco Sahanek in the winter transfer window boosting their foreign contingent.

NEUFC: Interesting ISL stats

NorthEast United had recorded just two wins in the 2019-20 season, which is a joint record with Chennaiyin FC, Kerala Blasters, Hyderabad FC and Odisha FC for the fewest wins by a team.

The Highlanders also have the most number of defeats (54) jointly in an Indian Super League season. If these weren’t enough, NEUFC also had the joint longest winless run with Hyderabad FC of 14 matches in the 2019-20 season.

NEUFC: Rivalries

With NorthEast United FC rooting from the eastern part of the side their foremost rival has been ATK Mohun Bagan. Both the clubs have their loyal supporters by their side throughout the season and it has been a relishing rivalry so far although NorthEast haven’t really hit the ground in this particular contest.

NorthEast United vs ATK Mohun Bagan Head-to-Head

Matches PlayedWonLostTied

Road Ahead for NEUFC

The Highlanders shocked everyone by appearing in the playoffs last season as Khalid Jamil etched his name in history by guiding the team into a last-four finish. This season was supposed to be theirs but they haven’t been able to replicate their success.

With one of the largest fan bases in the ISL, the Highlanders haven’t really managed to tap into the vast potential north-east has.  With Khalid Jamil at the helm, the onus will be on him to finish the season on a high.

There has been a lack of confidence among the squad it seems as a team that had been on an 11 match unbeaten run in the last season doesn’t look threatening anymore. They brought in some talented Indian players with the likes of Danmawia Ralte, Mirshad Michu and Mohammed Irshad who have been very influential since their arrival.

Mirshad has been the preferred choice in the NorthEast goal and has shown exemplary skills in his shot-stopping.

The likes of Laldanmawia Ralte and V.P. Suhair need to take up the chances that come their way. Suhair has the quality to thrive and Ralte’s playmaking ability could drive the team forward.